newprotest.org: DIY EFFECTS PEDALS

DIY EFFECTS PEDALS

November 01, 2007
by: jovial_cynic
I've got the DIY effects-pedal bug, so I've added another category to the projects section on my blog: audio.

I've been fascinated by the idea of electronically altering sound for quite a few years now. I own a 5-string electric violin and have, for years, played it straight through an amp with a little bit of reverb. The violin itself has no body, so reverb is necessary to make it sound like an actual violin. About a year ago, I found a distortion pedal at a garage sale for $5, and instantly fell in love. Not with the distortion effect necessarily, but with the idea that different arrangements of electronic componants can create different sounds.

Uncomfortable with the idea of randomly stringing componants together and pumping them through my amp, I decided that the best way to start would be by building a new amp. I found the Little Gem, a 1/2 watt mini amplifier that's cheap to build. By cheap, I mean that the parts cost less than $10 if you're willing to do a little scavenging ($20 if you buy each part individually at your local Radio Shack), and with that price tag, I'm comfortable with the amp blowing up if something goes wrong.

Yesterday, I picked up a new soldering iron (I can't find my old one, and I have a suspicion that I absent-mindedly threw it away), and have all the parts necessary to make the amp. I hope to get some work started on the project some time this weekend.
np category: audio
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